£100 for a console you say? That’s absurd!
And quite honestly, it is. That’s cheaper than many handhelds – cheaper than a used PS Vita, a brand new PSP and new DS/DSi/3DS/3DSXL models – and it’ll deliver the raw power of a PS3. The downsides? You’ve got a spring-loaded top-loading disc drive to deal with – which really isn’t too much concern. The other aspect that could be deemed a problem, however, is the consoles internal memory – a paltry 16GB.
Comparing that to what the entry level Xbox 360 4GB console offers, the 16GB is an absolute steal and an attractive proposition to any first-time console buyer. Not only do you end up with four times the amount of storage space right out of the box, but you also get a console at an incredibly cheap price – nearly £40 cheaper than the Xbox 360 4GB model.
However, as many PS3 owners will have noticed, this 16GB doesn’t seem quite enough space to really utilise your new and shiny PS3 Super Slim. While the 360 only needs storage space to save games and access some Xbox Live features, the PS3 needs space to install games as well as save games and the many full titles you can download from PSN. The problem becomes even more obvious when you realise that the PS3 big sells are also some of the meatiest installs on the platform, with Gran Turismo 5 taking up a large 10GB of space and Metal Gear Solid 4 requiring multiple installs to ease the load on a smaller PS3 hard drive – although this feature is removed in the budget edition, placing more strain on your memory contraints.
Of course, as the PS3 has aged newer titles have been released that don’t require data installs to work, but Sony can’t expect PS3 owners to relegate themselves to such titles. Nor can they expect consumers to go out and pick up a SATA drive and increase memory capacity themselves – although for those who know what they’re doing this could be a cheaper way of gaining a 500GB model PS3 ‘Super Slim’. So, just what are Sony playing at?
Personally I believe, and this is only a theory with absolutely no knowledge based in anonymous sources or facts beyond what we already know, that maybe the new ‘Super Slim’ PS3s are a sign of Sony bringing Gaikai technology to the PS3. This wouldn’t mean that Gaikai is limited to just working on these machines – that would be stupid – it means that Sony are preparing to roll the service out across their home consoles.
This would easily account for why the 16GB Super Slim exists as a viable long-term purchase, as if Gaikai was integrated into the firmware no hard drives would be needed to save games or download titles; all you would need the space for is a couple of titles you prefer to buy at retail, potentially for movies and music, and for firmware updates. The 16GB would be an excellent entry for those looking to play games occasionally, and want a console cheaply – it would also be a great way for Sony to launch a practically streaming only console, a console that doesn’t completely limit the consumer just to streaming titles.
The other models would exist to entice more people over to the console, and still offers a ‘full’ PS3 experience without forking out for the big price of a current slim model.
This is only a theory, but now Sony own Gaikai they would be fools to not utilise it on hardware sooner rather than later. Obviously the plan is to roll out the software onto their Bravia TVs and, as an interview with Eurogamer shows, Gaikai founder David Perry hopes that “Sony will slot cloud gaming into the PlayStation 4 as well as the PlayStation 3 and Vita.”
It could be coming soon folks, lets not count the 16GB console out just yet.